Walker County Messenger - - Front Page -

his reg­u­lar meet­ing Thurs­day night, Aug. 24.

“A judge re­cently or­dered Walker County to pay Er­langer $8.7 mil­lion plus in­ter­est and at­tor­ney’s fees to cover its por­tion of a 2011 loan to keep Hutch­e­son Med­i­cal Cen­ter open.

“Whitfield said, ‘This spe­cial district will gen­er­ate at least $2.5 mil­lion a year to pay down our debt to Er­langer. I’ve asked their man­age­ment team to re­mem­ber it’s the peo­ple of Walker County who are ul­ti­mately pay­ing the price for the mis­takes of the past. As we con­tinue to work with Er­langer on a pay­ment plan, my hope is they will show some com­pas­sion to our cit­i­zens, who are also their pa­tients.’

“The spe­cial district al­lows for a spe­cial as­sess­ment to be charged on each par­cel of prop­erty, be­gin­ning Oct. 1, 2017. The an­nual fee will be 0.14 per­cent of the fair mar­ket value, up to a max­i­mum of $1,000. The spe­cial as­sess­ment on a home with a mar­ket value of $75,000 would be $105. Prop­erty val­ued at $200,000 will be charged a $280 fee.

“The Walker County Public Health Fa­cil­i­ties and Ser­vices District will ter­mi­nate in three years.”

Re­tail sales in Walker County have had and con­tinue to have sev­eral voter-ap­proved, self-im­posed taxes: LOST (lo­cal op­tion sales tax) for gen­eral oper­a­tions, SPLOST (spe­cial pur­pose lo­cal sales tax) for a def­i­nite list of cap­i­tal projects and ESPLOST (ed­u­ca­tion spe­cial pur­pose lo­cal op­tion sales tax) that funds con­struc­tion and ma­jor ren­o­va­tions of schools.

Whitfield’s bud­get for the up­com­ing fis­cal year is still be­ing tweaked but is due for adop­tion and presentation to the state be­fore Oct. 1.

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